Introducing a new, global organization for parents skeptical of the “trans kid” trend

I’m happy to announce the launch of Transgender Trend, an international organization created by and for parents who are questioning the accelerating trend to diagnose children and adolescents as “transgender.

Transgender Trend, started by parents from the UK, the US, and Canada, aims to be a source of information and support for anyone who wants to challenge the pediatric “transition” narrative that has swept the Western world in the last several years. In addition, the organization intends to issue press releases, and to be a voice for parents, family members, and supportive friends who have been seeking–so far without success–to reach others who share their doubts and concerns.

The website (still in development) features an FAQ, links to and synopses of research studies, quotes from doctors, researchers, and psychologists, and a blog. It’s expected that the site will grow over time. Comments and questions are very welcome, but please note: Transgender Trend is not intended as, nor will it ever be, a place for trans activists to harass and harangue the parents and supportive others who congregate there.

Stephanie Davies-Arai, mother of four and the author of Communicating with Kids, will be the UK spokeswoman for Transgender Trend. Stephanie has recently given written evidence to the UK Parliament on the issue of pediatric transgender issues.  She also wrote a powerful piece,  “The Transgender Experiment on Kids” for the Wales Arts Review (now published on her own blog), critiquing the increasingly worrying child and adolescent “transition” narrative.

Stephanie has this to say about the launch of Transgender Trend:

I’m really happy to be working in collaboration with 4thWaveNow and a global group of parents to launch Transgender Trend. Our site is dedicated to evidence-based research and information which I hope will become a resource not only for parents, but for the press and the media too. For too long, we’ve only been hearing one side of the argument: that ‘gender nonconforming’ children should be socially and medically ‘transitioned’ as young as possible; that teenagers who suddenly announce they are ‘trans’ should be taken at their word with no questions asked.

Disguised as progressive liberalism, transgender theory depends on the reactionary and conservative belief in rigid gender stereotypes which now increasingly inform our interpretations of children’s behaviour. In the absence of any rigorous analysis of this theory, we are playing with children’s futures in the name of political correctness. Ultimately, the move to reclassify ‘male’ and ‘female’ not as biological sexes but as gender types, disproportionately harms women and girls.

I hope Transgender Trend goes some way to balance the overwhelmingly uncritical celebration of ‘transgender kids’ throughout the mainstream media, and that we can provide reassurance to parents who are struggling with this issue: You are not alone.

Parents and supportive others from around the world are welcome. Please visit Transgender Trend at:

http://www.transgendertrend.com/

 

 

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7-year-old “trans activist” used in campaign by Transgender Europe, a German NGO partially funded by US State Department

US taxpayers, did you know that some of your hard-earned money goes to a foreign NGO which uses a 7-year-old child to promote a trans activist agenda? Transgender Europe (TGEU), which is celebrating its 10th anniversary, states on its website (see bottom of page) that the US State Department is a donor.

TGEU State Dept funding

How is it that a US government agency is funding a foreign trans activist organization?

President Obama issued a directive in December 2011 to heads of executive branch agencies (which would include the US Department of State):

I am deeply concerned by the violence and discrimination targeting LGBT persons around the world whether it is passing laws that criminalize LGBT status, beating citizens simply for joining peaceful LGBT pride celebrations, or killing men, women, and children for their perceived sexual orientation.

President Obama’s memorandum goes on to list five areas for support of foreign NGOs: Combating Criminalization of LGBT Status or Conduct Abroad, Protecting Vulnerable LGBT Refugees and Asylum Seekers, Foreign Assistance to Protect Human Rights and Advance Nondiscrimination, Swift and Meaningful U.S. Responses to Human Rights Abuses of LGBT Persons Abroad, Engaging International Organizations in the Fight Against LGBT Discrimination.

Pursuant to the memorandum, the Global Equality Fund was established as a funding mechanism, “a collaborative effort led by the U.S. Department of State, bridging government, companies and NGOs with the objective of empowering LGBT persons to live freely and without discrimination.”

In September 2014, the US embassy in Budapest issued a statement on their website:

…Charge d’Affaires  of the U.S. Embassy in Budapest, M. Andre Goodfriend, delivered opening remarks at the 5th European Transgender Council Meeting, a gathering of 200 transgender activists, allies, researchers, and funders, in Budapest, Hungary – the first such conference to take place in Central and Eastern Europe. …

He congratulated the activists on the success of their efforts thus far, and emphasized that holding the conference sent a strong signal that the human rights of transgender persons should be protected everywhere.

The Department remains committed to advancing the goals of the Presidential Memorandum on International Initiatives to Advance the Human Rights of LGBT Persons, and to expanding its support, through the Global Equality Fund, embassy and consulate outreach, partnership with like-minded governments, corporations, and private foundations, and by continuing to learn from and partner with civil society organizations – such as Transgender Europe and TransVanilla [a Hungarian trans activist organization]- to promote and protect the human rights of transgender persons.

If the US State Department was only involved in “promoting and protecting human rights” and helping people to live “freely and without discrimination;” if it were about the right to nondiscrimination in jobs, housing, education; the right to protection against violence for all LGBT people, I’d be completely on board. But organizations like TGEU are taking this further.

Production values on the 1.5 minute promo featuring the 7-year-old are high. The video was clearly made by skilled professionals, with excellent camera work, fine sound engineering, and a catchy guitar soundtrack. This is not the work of an amateur.

The child also has a “public figure” Facebook page (aka a fan page), adorned with stereotypically “feminine” trappings, and describing the child as “a 7-year-old trans activist.”

WN Facebook

What is the 7-year-old trans activist being used to promote? The “depathologisation” of trans people. On its website, TGEU “calls on the World Health Organisation and governments to ensure that gender variant children are not labelled as sick.”

So far? Sounds good. Gender nonconformity is not a pathology. Let little girls and little boys look, play, and behave any way they like.  Is this what TGEU is promoting?

The Depathologisation Resources page links to this proposal by the GATE working group, which argues for abolishing the “gender incongruence” diagnosis being considered for the next version of the international diagnosis codes (ICD-11). The group praises Argentina, which

… passed the first gender identity law in the world that recognizes the human right of trans people to access legal recognition and transition-related health care services (including hormone therapy and surgical procedures) without requiring any kind of diagnosis.

So depathologizing appears to mean dumping any “disorder” diagnosis and just giving trans-identified people whatever they want. But for children, TGEU seems to argue for a different approach:

Gender variance in childhood does not require any medical interventions such as hormone therapy or surgical procedures. Rather, children need information and support in exploring their gender identity and expression and dealing with sociocultural environments that are frequently hostile to gender variance…research indicates it is impossible to reliably distinguish between a gender-variant child who will grow up to become trans and a gender-variant child who will grow up to be gay, lesbian, or bisexual, but not trans. As such, by conflating gender variance and sexual orientation, the proposed GIC category amounts to a re-pathologization of homosexuality.

Later in the document, we find this:

Further, the imposition of a diagnosis of gender incongruence on a child contradicts the principle that childhood development is a process of change and exploration. Such a diagnosis, which attempts to establish a concrete definition of a child’s gender identity precisely during the phase of life when essential aspects of identity are most in flux, is likely to create the presumption that the child is transgender, whether or not that is in fact the case.

This sounds like TGEU falls squarely in the camp that would criticize labeling children as trans, doesn’t it?

Yet in the video, the 7-year-old isn’t talking about  being “gender variant.” The kid is a boy talking about living as a trans person. A girl. If TGEU believes that children should not be presumed to be transgender, why on earth are they promoting this child as a “trans activist”?

The child’s parents are also featured on the website. What are their views on the “depathologisation” question?

Bex and James are the Family Support Officers at Gender Liberation, and Willa is the youngest activist….

As parents of a trans child they were concerned that ‘gender incongruence in childhood’ is listed in the International Classification of Diseases, particularly because others could use this classification as a tool to deter them from supporting their daughter, and it could further stigmatise Willa and keep people from accepting her.

We made the choice, we made the decision that we had to listen to our child, because we love her unconditionally.”

“Trans children only need to go through social transition, and therefore having a category in the ICD-11 that pathologizes gender diversity in childhood is completely unnecessary.”

big special girl

“She’s my special big girl and always will be.”

And there we have it.  “Gender variant” children “need” to go through social transition. Yet the very document TGEU uses in their depathologisation campaign states that the majority of these kids will desist and perhaps grow up to be gay or lesbian adults. That there should not be a “presumption” that they are transgender.

In addition, there is a body of evidence, originating with and continuing to this day, from the Dutch team who pioneered pediatric transition, indicating that social transition can be harmful. It can lock a child into a transgender identity and make it more difficult for a child to “desist.” Not only that: Being a social media star and receiving plaudits from parents and other important adults for conforming to gender stereotypes is a powerful incentive and reward. And this particular child has had a law dedicated to him. Can anyone think it would be possible for him to change his mind, after all that?

So why do they “need” social transition?  Why can’t these kids just play and explore without being coddled in the notion that they are really the opposite sex? Why do they “need” to be called “trans activists” at age 7?  What does TGEU actually believe?

Watch the video and decide for yourself: Is this 7-year-old child being encouraged to “explore their gender identity and expression”? Or would you say the child is more being urged to assume a “concrete definition…precisely during the phase of life when essential aspects of identity are most in flux… likely to create the presumption that the child is transgender”?

My life having to live as a boy was very bad. Until one day I told my mum and dad that I felt I was a girl….so they let me dress as a girl indoors….they let me live as a girl…after that when they saw that this was truly who I was they let me live as a girl….Now I am very happy living as a girl… trans kids need to be listened to. We don’t have a disorder and you can’t change us. .. we should just be allowed to live as we are because we KNOW who we are.

butterflies

So there’s agreement between organizations like Transgender Europe and critics like me. These kids aren’t “sick.” They don’t have a “disorder” just because they aren’t conforming to rigid gender stereotypes. But we differ radically in the conclusions we draw.

Transgender Europe operates campaigns—partially funded by me and other Americans–that promote the idea that a boy who plays with fairy dolls and wears pink dresses is actually a girl who should be “socially transitioned” before the world on YouTube and Facebook, defined as transgender, and who, at puberty, will be ready for all the medical services that money (and the taxpayer) can provide.

6-year-old “trans princess” reality show star is mentored by 15-year-old “trans teen” patient of Dr. Johanna Olson of LA Children’s Hospital

The day Dev could walk, the walk was feminine. The day Dev could talk…it was really feminine. The way he smiled in pictures, the way he posed….He would pick up dolls and we would take them and hide them. …just snatch them out of his hands. I didn’t understand what was happening to my boy.

–Mother of 6-year-old “trans girl” reality show star

Disclaimer: While I do not and will not ever place responsibility for the wave of pediatric transitions on the young people who have been swept up in its undertow,  the adults discussed in this post have willingly chosen to place their minor children in the glare of the media limelight, with no attempt to protect the privacy or anonymity of their offspring. Any criticism of this burgeoning “transgender” child celebrity and moneymaking scheme should be aimed at the adults who enable it—not the kids.

Most screen captures in this post are still shots from the People.com video interview discussed below.


It’s official: The trans kid phenomenon has gone totally mainstream. Is there anyone in the US who hasn’t at least leafed through a People magazine–a staple of doctor’s office waiting rooms since 1974? In an age when print media is dying a slow death, People magazine has a circulation of over 3.5 million. In the online arena, it has 6.76 million Twitter followers.

So it’s not surprising that People.com has launched a raft of popular web-based reality shows. And who is one of its newest stars? A 6-year-old “transgender princess,” the youngest member of “The Keswanis: A Most Modern Family.” [Gee. This couldn’t possibly be a coy attempt at one-upmanship—or should I say, oneupyourpreferredpronounship over the hit ABC show “Modern Family,” which just has a couple of boring old GAY people as protagonists?]

ABC’s “Modern Family” is so—1990s. The Kewswani family—now that is MOST modern, which nowadays seems to mean a contest for who can market the youngest trans child to a rubbernecking public.

People.com is not shy about its ambitious aims for its new reality stars.

new obsession people

Actual quote: “Step aside, Kardashians! There’s a new family in town that we’re all dying to keep up with.”

Like the rest of these MOST modern trans kid tragicomedies we’ve been seeing all over the media, this one features the parents talking about that moment they realized that their kid really is the opposite sex.

Pink News, which bills itself on Twitter as “the world’s most respected and trusted LGBT news publisher,” has a promo video up (bottom of linked page) featuring interviews with the whole family. (Why don’t these one-time gay/lesbian publications just drop the pretense; drop the LGB from their monikers? Just make a clean break and call themselves a transgender news publisher and be done with it).

The 7.5-minute promo (also helpfully reproduced on Entertainment Weekly‘s website (which, like People, is owned by media giant Time Inc. with a current valuation over $4 billion), could be used as a sociological study of how so many of these “most modern” parents enforce gender stereotypes on kids who don’t fit the conventional mold of “girl” or “boy.” In fact, it’s the best example I’ve seen of how a child might come to the rather logical conclusion that they are in the “wrong body” because of their parents’ rigid ideas of what a boy or girl is supposed to act like, play with—even walk or talk like.

transgender princess

The day Dev could walk, the walk was feminine. The day Dev could talk…it was really feminine. The way he smiled in pictures, the way he posed….“He would pick up dolls and we would take them and hide them. …just snatch them out of his hands.” I didn’t understand what was happening to my boy.

What was happening? Well, you, the parents, defined your toddler’s every move, every facial expression as feminine. Could that have anything at all to do with why your boy decided he must obviously be a girl? And snatching a favored toy away wouldn’t have anything to do with your child starting to put 2+2 together–would it?

The little boy who happened to like dolls couldn’t possibly be emulating his older sister “Sarina, 15, a budding pageant contestant who’s navigating the emotional ups and downs of being a teenager – and learning to pose in a bikini.”

modeling

Nah. Dev’s first-grade ideas about “what I want to be when I grow up,” as reported by big sis Sarina, the “pageant rookie” and model in the opening minute of the interview, are all Dev’s own:

And my mom always uses the excuse, oh yeah, you were just like Devina when you were a kid…She loves dancing, she wants to be a tap dancer, she wants to be a famous singer, she wants to be a famous actor, and a model in a pageant.”

pageant rookieSo was there a defining event that convinced the family Dev is really a girl? It was Dev’s kindergarten teacher who raised the alarm, according to dad.

“I think you need to see this paper.” It was a sheet of paper. I still have it. It was a picture of an elephant…trapped in a cage.

The cage of….his parents’ expectations of how a boy was supposed to behave? Because a boy sure as heck couldn’t take his first step or say his first word in a “feminine” manner.

Mom continues the story:

[Devina said] “The elephant is very sad. She is stuck. And she is sad because nobody will listen.”

I felt like I was hit by a car. Because it just hit me? That my child is a girl!

elephant

Beautiful–the transgender elephant?

He said, “her name is Beautiful.”

And I said, “Who is beautiful?” She wouldn’t look at me, and I said, “look at me.” “Who is beautiful?
And she looked at me and she was so scared. So much fear in her eyes. “She said, Beautiful is me.”

 “I’m beautiful.”

It took me about 30 seconds to take that in. I just wrapped my arms around her and said:

You will never have to be Dev again. Ever.

And in that moment, the pronouns change. He becomes she–never to be known as a boy again. Ever.

“So much fear.” A kindergartner, so afraid of his mother’s reaction.  Maybe the little boy was afraid because he wanted to be “beautiful,” but he knew his doll-snatching mother didn’t think boys can be beautiful. Only girls–like his teen model sister–can be beautiful.

Who built Beautiful’s cage?

Whether we chose this or not…we are parents of a modern family. I have a son who’s a top tier social media star. I have a daughter who’s venturing out into modeling and finding her own place in the world. And then I have a 6-year-old who’s transitioning.

A top-tier social media star? The People.com promotion page for the Keswani reality series features the 17-year-old “Vine Superstar”:

people headline

The eldest is “Big Nik,” 17, who suffers from a rare form of dwarfism. His hilarious Vines have earned him a following of 2.7 million, and have made him a social media rock star.

“We’re all a little different and a little dysfunctional,” says Nik, who recently dined out with Justin Bieber and earns upwards of $10,000 a month in sponsorship deals. “But I think that’s the recipe for a happy family.”

So the family isn’t new to social-media stardom, and Mom Vaishali’s Linked-In profile lists her main career as “talent manager” (with only one client listed so far–her son, “BigNik”, though that might change soon enough with the addition of a new star to the roster), and both parents have Twitter feeds promoting their family’s rise to fame.

Keswanis family pic EW

Entertainment Weekly promo shot of the Keswani family

Returning to the promo interview, there is only one note of discord in the family narrative, a comment from Dad:

Maybe Dev will be an effeminate male, or maybe he’ll be a gay male. It might be a passing fad.

Wait, what? This brief cameo of dad expressing doubts seems hastily spliced in, out of context. I thought Dev was now “she”?  But apparently this was a past rumination from dad, before he saw the light. Because by the end of the video, dad has changed his tune–decisively:

People wonder if we’re activists…[they say] this is “morally wrong.” …Spend a day with us.  And tell me that she’s anything but a girl.

Based on what? Clothes? The “feminine” walk and talk? Of course, boys don’t like pink, and pink is the only color we see the first grader wearing in the promo pictures or the video, even though pink has only recently been marketed as a “girl” color. It wasn’t long ago that pink was for boys, and both girls and boy children wore dresses:

One of the earliest references to this original color scheme appeared in a June of 1918 edition of the trade publication Earnshaw’s Infants’ Department.

The generally accepted rule is pink for the boys, and blue for the girls. The reason is that pink , being a more decided and stronger color, is more suitable for the boy, while blue, which is more delicate and dainty, is prettier for the girl.

Franklin-roosevelt

Franklin Delano Roosevelt, three-term US president.

A little over halfway into the promo interview clip, a new character appears. At first it’s not evident who this person is—a teen babysitter? Family friend?  She’s wearing makeup and, surprise, a pink blouse. She and Devina are filmed playing (natch) with princess stuff—wands and lots of pink dolls and princess garb.

“Do you want to give her a wand? You have wands here.”

“So cool to be with someone who’s like me in a way…you and I are both, you know, in that same category…”

The category of people who like pink? Who like wands and princesses?

People.com has an accompanying story on the princess-and-wand-loving teen:

Supporting [Devina] through the transition is not just her family, but also new friends, like Lily Rubenstein, a transgender 15-year-old who lives near the Keswani family. The two connected through the area’s transgender community, and have bonded over their shared experience during “play dates.”

Lily says that familial support and acceptance is the most important thing when it comes to ensuring a person has a positive transition.

“Support is the number one thing that parents need to be able to provide,” she tells PEOPLE. “There is nothing worse that you can do to a child than tell them that who they are inside and everything that makes them themselves is not authentic – or is a phase.”

Lily is FIFTEEN. As in, still a kid. But quoted as an expert by the geniuses at People Magazine, who are experts at one thing—profit margins.

So I beg to differ, Lily. And so do the providers who’ve been at this the longest, who say that, for the vast majority of little kids, it IS a phase, with the great majority of younger children with “gender dysphoria” growing up to be…gay. Even WPATH, the main transition-pushing organization on the planet, agrees [see page 11].  And “socially transitioning” a six-year-old will basically entrap the child in a trans identity from which they won’t have a chance of escaping, even if they want to. And if they’ve been a trans-child reality show star? Talk about a beautiful elephant in a gilded cage. And in the case of a natal boy, it’s going to be a gelded elephant in that gilded cage.

Vaishali admits she received a fair amount of backlash for allowing Devina to transition at a young age – even from friends. But Lily insists that what the Keswanis are doing is what’s best for their child.

…”The fact that she has the opportunity to transition at this stage in her life is how it should be for everyone. The Keswanis are setting the example here.”

Lily seems to be awfully confident about the ultimate outcomes for kids who are socially transitioned. Even more confident than the most pro-kid-transition experts. But where exactly is Lily getting this information from, anyway, that transitioning first graders will have such a guaranteed rosy outcome?

A quick Google tells us that Lily was featured in an April CBS Los Angeles puff piece, along with her doctor, Johanna Olson at LA Children’s Hospital (of “skip the blockers” fame).

Lily has been receiving hormone therapy and blockers to stop puberty at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, which is home to the largest clinic for transgender youth in the nation.

Ah! The puzzle pieces start to come together.

Olson treats more than 400 trans-youth, the youngest of which is 4.

“Kids do roll through a lot of things as they go through identity formation but our gender is a core part of who we are and we actually all know what our gender is and have pretty solid gender identity by the age of 3 or 4 years old,” Olson said.

Oh really, Dr. Olson? “We actually all know,” do we? It’s all settled then, is it? We have a consensus? Interesting that international researchers who have worked with young gender dysphoric children directly contradict your assertion of certainty. But now we at least know where your mouthpiece patient Lily gets the information being dutifully passed on to the masses via CBS, People magazine, and virtually every other media outlet on the planet.

Returning to the story featuring 15-year-old Lily’s role as “mentor” to 6-year-old Devina, as always, it’s impossible to discuss this issue without someone playing the suicide card. And this quote from mom Vaishali is as bad as it gets.

And for Vaishali, the risk that comes with not allowing Devina to be who she is was too great to leave to chance.

There’s a 41 percent suicide rate in people who aren’t accepted,” she says. “That’s enough for me.”

She doesn’t even say “suicide attempt” (which in itself is inaccurate). It’s a 41% SUICIDE RATE. Apparently no one has told mom that this statistic is about rates of either self harm or thoughts of self harm, and that there is no evidence that “transition” will cure it.

As the credits roll on the promo interview, we learn that the family is from San Diego—the same place where four trans-identified teens committed suicide this year. At least two of them were transitioning with full support of their families. They were called by their “preferred pronouns” and accepted–even looked up to–by family, friends, and teachers.

The grain of truth in Vaishali’s statement about self harm is indeed about acceptance. But maybe accepting one’s child “for who she is” doesn’t mean telling a kid they are the opposite sex. Maybe it doesn’t mean setting one’s child up to be a lifelong, sterilized patient, haunting the offices of endocrinologists and surgeons for the rest of his or her life. Acceptance could start with not snatching away dolls from a boy whose beloved big sister is a budding model/beauty pageant queen. Acceptance could mean coming to terms with the fact that they have a “gender nonconforming” son who might grow up to be a gay man.

And when this kid is asked whether he wants to continue the blockers that he will most certainly get at the onset of puberty, when he is asked if he wants cross sex hormones, is he going to say NO? After all this–the media fanfare, the fame, the definitive statements from everyone in his family? Hey, no, this was all a mistake. I’m going to embarrass myself and my family and say none of this was real.

Unless DEtransition becomes a media thing in a decade or two? Somehow I don’t think “Sterilized at 15: A Most Modern Malady” will be quite as sensational–or profit-inducing. Except for maybe a few medical malpractice lawyers.

UK pediatric transition referrals DOUBLE in SIX months, girls far outnumber boys, many under 10 years old

Scanning through my Twitter feed this morning, I nearly scrolled past this little news item tweeted by the Guardian:

According to a freedom of information response obtained by the Guardian, the number of children referred to the Tavistock has jumped from 314 referrals in 2012-13 to 697 referrals in 2014-15. In the last six months the service has seen a further increase in referrals with 634 children referred between April and September.

Children? LITTLE children:

Many of the referrals – 151 from 2012-13 to 2014-15 – relate to children under the age of 10, including one three-year-old and 12 four-year-olds.

Yesterday, I posted about a very recent research survey conducted by members of the Dutch team of clinicians who pioneered pediatric medical transition. They found that, worldwide, there is a growing sense of unease amongst clinicians working in child gender clinics. It is widely acknowledged that there is no long-term research to support the current medical paradigm for “treating” children with gender dysphoria–to the point that some providers are even forming “moral deliberation” groups to “rethink” aspects of the pediatric “treatment” protocol.

Does the Guardian article hint at any such doubts? To be fair, the director of London’s Tavistock clinic, Polly Carmichael, does hint:

“The increase is challenging,” Carmichael said. “We are keen to provide space for young people to fully explore their options and find their own way forward. It is a very complicated issue.”

If Guardian reporters would bother to read the 17-clinic survey study, they might be able to expand a bit more on some of these “complicated issues.” Oh wait, they do–in one paragraph, written in the passive voice, accompanied by a glamorous photo of Laverne Cox:

Increased media interest, the proliferation of social media where children and young people can discuss gender identity issues, and the prevalence of trans figures in popular culture such as Caitlyn Jenner and Laverne Cox, is thought to be part of the reason why there has been such a significant increase in these referrals.

“Thought to be”–it is thought by whom?  Couldn’t you find anyone to go on the record to say this publicly? And just how ironic is it that this reporter touches on “increased media interest” without even a phrase devoted to her OWN role, in this very article, in promoting the media circus.

But never mind, because the rest of the article makes clear that the real issue is how important it is to serve all these kids and parents who are demanding transition services.

The Tavistock and Portman NHS trust gender identity development service in London has said that attempting to meet the demand from children seeking their services has put them under huge pressure…

A spokeswoman for the Tavistock said: “Gender expression is diversifying”, adding that it was important for young people to explore and develop their own path.

Let’s see: Should some of those kids with their “diversifying” identities perhaps just be advised to be comfortable in their own bodies?  Is it the duty of the NHS to be “candy sellers” (to quote the wise ethicist in the Journal of Adolescent Health survey) vs. raising a few questions with primary-school children and their doting parents? If question-raising or encouraging other, less extreme options is part of what “support from specialist services” means, it is certainly not stated in this article.

Instead, we get to hear from none other than Jay Stewart, of “Gendered Intelligence,” that NGO which has been teaching preschoolers to obsess about gender for the last 7 years.

Jay Stewart, director of Gendered Intelligence, an NGO that promotes greater understanding of gender diversity, said there are now more than 50 gender options on Facebook rather than the traditional two.

Tail wagging the dog much? Kid signs up for an account on Facebook. Kid has 50 “identity” options to choose from. Hm, kid ponders. Guess this gender thing is really something I need to worry about.  Guess I need to decide whether my body is some alien appendage attached to my all-knowing, gender-generating mind. Because I can’t possibly actually BE my healthy, evolution-crafted body, can I? I am only my ideas, my notions–one of the “identities” Facebook helpfully cooked up with the help of trans-identified employees.

This is the tip of the iceberg of what gender identity is going to look like in the future,” [Stewart] said. “Young people have a very sophisticated understanding of gender yet the world is lagging behind. There is poor understanding of these issues and a lot of hostility and discrimination. Everyone’s gender identity and journey is unique and the numbers of children and young people wishing to transition are going to keep going up and up.”

If it wasn’t clear from other statements Stewart has made publicly, this paragraph crystallizes the matter. “Gendered Intelligence” is not in the business of helping children (with their “sophisticated understanding”) feel positively about who they are. Stewart isn’t teaching 4-year-olds to break gender stereotypes. Right here in black and white, we see that children “wishing to transition” is what those drug-company-taxpayer-funded “lessons” are all about. Because the word “transition” means only one thing: rejecting the sex you are to become one you aren’t.  And as we know from the story reported a couple of days ago, granting childish wishes is what Stewart and his minions are all about:

It’s so important to be teaching children in schools that they can be anything that they want regardless of the gender that they have been given at birth.

Seems Jay Stewart might as well be appointed as a government minister in the UK. Yesterday’s Guardian also featured Stewart as the key advocate for what sounds like soon-to-be-implemented governmental oversight of social media for UK residents who use Twitter, Facebook, or other online networking sites:

Jay Stewart, the director of Gendered Intelligence, a transgender youth group, agreed that more needed to be done about transphobic abuse online…

…“There needs to be more regulation. If people behaved like that in a school or at work it would be dealt with.

Dealt with how? Jail terms? Firings?

“People also think that being trans has something to do with child abuse or they obsess over gender reassignment surgery. All of this comes down to an educational issue and the government can do more here,” Stewart said.

Seems like the government is doing quite enough, paying for Gendered Intelligence to propagandize children in the UK schools, and providing free-at-point-of-service medical transition. But hey, a new Ministry of Thought Police would give taxpayers more bang for their buck, with Stewart at the helm.

Returning to today’s Guardian piece, what about the surge in girls “wishing” to transition, a trend that is being noticed around the world?

According to the Tavistock figures, more girls want to become boys (893) than boys want to become girls (579). Carmichael said the larger number of girls was likely to have a complex explanation. “It might be to do with increased confidence in natal females coming forward but there are lots of unknowns. But we’ve seen a large rise in natal females coming forward, which deserves fuller exploration,” he said.

At least this spokesman thinks the issue “deserves fuller exploration.” But the Guardian reporters aren’t going to do that exploration, now are they? ARE they?

Because, right. It’s just that girls who hate their bodies are feeling more “confident.” Confident of what? Certainly not that it’s perfectly ok to be a “gender nonconforming” female without spending the rest of your life injecting testosterone, undergoing surgery after surgery, and, oh, maybe regretting the kids you never got to have because your parents and people like Jay Stewart–and the “charity” Mermaids–thought it was a brilliant idea to sterilize you instead of allowing you to go through natural puberty.

The charity Mermaids, which provides support to children and families on the issue of gender transition, says children who want to transition can be given gender hormone blockers to prevent the onset of puberty followed by cross-sex hormones. The former are reversible but the latter are less reversible. Currently cross-sex hormones are available from the age of 16 on the NHS.

Signal boost, parents and teens! Just letting you know to come-and-get your free-at-the-point-of-service testosterone when you turn 16! But cross-sex hormones are “less” reversible. That’s a pretty wishy-washy way of saying that your beard, deep voice, and a host of other things that haven’t even been researched are going to be permanent changes. Oh, and then there’s that pesky little problem I keep harping about: that when you follow blockers by cross-sex hormones (as casually mentioned in the paragraph above) you won’t be able to have any kids of your own. But you couldn’t have mentioned that, could you, Diane Taylor, the author of this piece, with your “particular interest” in “human rights”? How about the human right of not being proactively sterilized and permanently altered when you’re too damn young to understand what you’re doing?

Susie Green, the chair of Mermaids, said:“Our children are being failed on a daily basis … There is a crisis. NHS primary care services often don’t understand what is going on with these children and can be dismissive and say, ‘This is just a phase they’re going through.’

Mother's Day card offered for sale by

Mother’s Day card offered for sale by “Mermaids” on their website

Except that the people who know the most about these issues, including the Dutch clinicians who started this whole pediatric transition thing, say, over and over again, that most prepubescent children ARE usually just “going through a phase.

Parents, family members, reporters-with-a-conscience, child development specialists: Are you going to let this continue? Are you going to let the media just go on racing ahead with its propaganda, while the rate of children who “wish” to “transition” doubles, triples, quadruples–how many is too many?

And in case it isn’t painfully clear, you bet I am writing this post in anger this morning. When even some of the people who administer these “treatments,” who are profiting from them, are expressing doubts, but the lazy mainstream (and even the supposedly “feminist” media) continues to behave as de facto propaganda organs for adult trans activists, it’s hard not to become infuriated.

I keep thinking I’m past outrage. But the blood pounding in my ears right now tells me I’m nowhere near Peak Trans.

Skeptical gender therapist: “A medical doctor is not a candy seller”

candy seller

In yesterday’s post, I focused on the situation in the United Kingdom, where the school system is deeply enmeshed with a trans activist organization which peddles its message to kids as young as 4 years old. And the majority of posts on this blog document the seemingly unstoppable trend to diagnose and treat children as “transgender.” With this overwhelming level of societal and medical support, the issue must be pretty much settled—right?

Not according to the gender specialists themselves, it isn’t.

Hot off the presses, in the October 2015 issue of the Journal of Adolescent Health, a team of Dutch researcher-clinicians report findings from a survey of gender clinics which serve dysphoric children around the world.

Although you’d never know it, judging by the accelerating trend to socially “transition” kids as young as 3, freeze adolescents’ natural puberty with GnRh agonists, and then move on to chemical sterilization via cross-sex hormones thereafter, there is no  consensus amongst gender specialists that this current treatment protocol is the way to go.

The qualitative survey, entitled “Early Medical Treatment of Children and Adolescents With Gender Dysphoria: An Empirical Ethical Study” was conducted by a group of well-known Dutch researchers/gender specialists who are themselves actively involved in administering puberty blockers and other treatments to “transgender” children. The authors surveyed 17 treatment teams (endocrinologists, psychologists, MDs, psychiatrists, ethicists) regarding their views and experiences.

Many of the parents who contribute to and read this blog agonize about their difficulty finding therapists and doctors critical of the I’m-trans-if-I-say-I-am paradigm. I hope this post gives some measure of hope to those parents. While the skeptical specialists (nearly all of them psychologists or psychiatrists, with most endocrinologists and pediatricians apparently submitting pro-transition comments) are quoted anonymously, at least we know they’re out there. And enough of them exist to tell us that the runaway pediatric transition train may not have completely lost its brake pads—yet.

The journal article can be read in its entirety here, and the abstract summarizes the key findings:

The Endocrine Society and the World Professional Association for Transgender Health published guidelines for the treatment of adolescents with gender dysphoria (GD). The guidelines recommend the use of gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonists in adolescence to suppress puberty. However, in actual practice, no consensus exists whether to use these early medical interventions…

Seven themes give rise to different, and even opposing, views on treatment: (1) the (non-)availability of an explanatory model for GD; (2) the nature of GD (normal variation, social construct or [mental] illness); (3) the role of physiological puberty in developing gender identity; (4) the role of comorbidity; (5) possible physical or psychological effects of (refraining from) early medical interventions; (6) child competence and decision making authority; and (7) the role of social context how GD is perceived…

CONCLUSIONS:

As long as debate remains on these seven themes and only limited long-term data are available, there will be no consensus on treatment. Therefore, more systematic interdisciplinary and (worldwide) multicenter research is required.

Because my aim here is to show that gender specialists are not unanimously aboard the child transition bandwagon, this post will mostly highlight the comments from the more skeptical gender specialists surveyed. Amazingly (to me), the doubters seem to hit nearly all the same points I do in my blog posts.  [Note: Use of boldface to emphasize certain passages is my own, not that of the authors.]

So what is gender dysphoria?

Is GD a normal variation of gender expression, a social construct, a medical disease, or a mental illness? In the DSM-5 and the to-be-released ICD-11, the main challenge in classifying GD has been to find a balance between concerns related to the stigmatization of mental disorders and the need for diagnostic categories that facilitate access to health care, payment by insurance companies, and the communication between diverse professions.

I spend a fair amount of time reading articles and social media posts authored by gender specialists. It’s quite evident that there is currently pressure to completely de-stigmatize the transgender diagnosis…yet still find a way to get the “treatment” paid for by private insurance companies (or the taxpayer via public insurance such as Medicare or Medicaid). This thread from the WPATH public Facebook page [commenter names redacted] is illustrative of the dilemma the survey authors point to in the passage above.

wpath gender incongruence

So, this thread seems to indicate that providers are moving away from gender dysphoria as a disorder; even as an experience which causes distress. But why then would there be a need for medical treatment? This conundrum is addressed by the 17-clinic survey authors:

The interviews and questionnaires show that most informants find it difficult to articulate their thoughts about this aspect. Most see GD as neither a disease nor a social construct, but as a normal, but less frequent variation of gender expression. However, some note that you would not need medical procedures to make the lives of people with GD more satisfying if it were merely a normal variation.

Another thread from the WPATH public Facebook page seems to justify transition services for someone who just wants a “joyful and loving life.”

wpath joyful life

But when it comes to young people, at least one psychiatrist in the survey study gives us a less sanguine view of such quality-of-life justifications for medical transition:

“I find it extremely dangerous to let an adolescent undergo a medical treatment without the existence of a pathophysiology and I consider it just a medical experimentation that does not justify the risk to which adolescents are exposed. Gender dysphoria is the only situation in which medical intervention does not cure a sick body, but healthy organs are mutilated in the process of adapting physical and congruent psychological identity.” –Psychiatrist

I feel certain at least a few of the parents who frequent this blog wish they had the office phone number for this reasonable clinician. Amirite?

On the wisdom of puberty blockers

How many of us have asked, “but what if puberty blockers also inhibit the psychological/neurological maturation that comes with puberty–and beyond?” And, because many kids actually outgrow their gender dysphoria, interrupting puberty would deny them the opportunity to become comfortable in their bodies and avoid a life as a permanent medical patient.

It’s a pleasant surprise to see an acknowledgement of some of these concerns here:

In the literature, the concern is raised that interrupting the development of secondary sex characteristics may disrupt the development of a gender identity during puberty that is congruent with the assigned gender. The interviews and questionnaires show that some treatment teams share this view.

One clinician even talks about lesbian women who would have been misdiagnosed as “trans” children in an earlier time.

I have met gay women who identify as women who would certainly have been diagnosed gender dysphoric as children but who, throughout adolescence, came to accept themselves. This might not have happened on puberty blockers.”–Psychologist

So at least one psychologist who works on a pediatric transition team acknowledges what many, formerly gender dysphoric women, say: that if there had been “gender clinics” for kids in the 1950s, 60s, 70s, or 80s, they would not be happy lesbian adults today, but sterilized “trans men.”

Speaking more broadly, another therapist has this to say:

“I believe that, in adolescence, hypothalamic inhibitors should never be given, because they interfere not only with emotional development, but [also] with the integration process among the various internal and external aspects characterizing the transition to adulthood.” –Psychiatrist

On co-occurring psychological/psychiatric issues

If you read through the part of this blog where most parents congregate and introduce themselves for the first time, some common themes emerge. One is the observation by many parents that their kids have other mental health issues, nearly always predating the (sometimes sudden) announcement that they are transgender.  While most activists insist that transition is the cure for what ails a dysphoric child or teen, the clinicians working in the trenches aren’t so sure.

The risk of co-occurring psychiatric problems in children and adolescents with GD is high. The percentage of children referred for GD who fulfilled DSM criteria of at least one diagnosis other than GD is 52%. The psychiatric comorbidity in adolescents with GD is 32%. Another study shows that 43% of the children and adolescents seen in a gender identity clinic suffer from major psychopathology. To date, the precise mechanisms that link GD and coexisting psychopathology are unknown.

Miscellaneous physical and psychological risks of medical transition

The surveyed clinicians acknowledge many of the concerns discussed regularly on this blog.

The possible consequences of suppressing puberty for cognitive and brain development are unclear and debated at this moment. The normal pubertal increase in bone mineral density may be attenuated by puberty suppression, and it is uncertain if there is complete catch-up after treatment with cross-sex hormones.

While it only merits one sentence (and no direct quotes), the surveyed clinicians appear to view sterilization as an important concern:

In the interviews and questionnaires, the loss of fertility was often mentioned as a major consequence of treatment.

And here’s an additional worry I haven’t seen in writing before: the potential negative impact of puberty blockers on future SRS surgery.

In addition, various informants stressed the importance of the fact that the penis and scrotum should be developed enough to be able to use this tissue to create a vagina later in life. Very early use of puberty suppression impairs penile growth and consequently makes certain surgical techniques impossible.

Will we see this rather thorny issue discussed on an episode of the Jazz Jennings reality show? Will the Tumblr trans activists screaming “now or never” take heed?

On whether kids are mature enough to make these decisions

One informant stated that the decision whether to start with hormones should only be made during adulthood: “We should facilitate his or her process of integration in the society and if he or she would undergo hormone- and surgical treatments he or she could decide [on this] during adulthood.” —Psychiatrist

Influence of the Internet and social media

You know how trans activists scoff at our observations that our kids only started talking about “transition” after binging on YouTube and Reddit?

They speculated that television shows and information on the Internet may have a negative effect and, for example, lead to medicalization of gender-variant behavior.

They [adolescents] are living in their rooms, on the Internet during night-time, and thinking about this [gender dysphoria]. Then they come to the clinic and they are convinced that this [gender dysphoria] explains all their problems and now they have to be made a boy. I think these kinds of adolescents also take the idea from the media. But of course you cannot prevent this in the current area of free information spreading.” –Psychiatrist

Hello? The Advocate? The Boston Globe? The Washington Post? Anybody?

Furthermore, interviews and questionnaires show that treatment teams feel pressure from parents and adolescents to start with treatment at earlier ages.

Puberty suppression has been adopted as part of the treatment protocol by increasing numbers of originally reluctant treatment teams. More and more treatment teams embrace the Dutch protocol but with a feeling of unease…these professionals also have doubts because of the lack of long-term physical and psychological outcomes.

Hey, journalists. Obscure blogger over here quoting actual gender specialists, so you can’t say it’s just a bunch of nervous Nellie-moms making shit up. Need the link again? Oh, that’s just the abstract, here’s the pre-publication full-text, right here.

Self-harm/suicidal ideation

For several informants, a reason to use puberty suppression was the fear of increased suicidality in untreated adolescents with GD. Research shows that transgender youth are at higher risk of suicidal ideation and suicidal attempts. Nevertheless, caution is needed when interpreting these data because they do not show causality or directionality.

The meaning of that last sentence is crystal clear, and entirely in accord with what I, and other critics of the harmful “transition or suicide” meme that adult trans activists continually propagate, have tried to point out. While no one disputes that there is a higher self-harm and suicidality rate amongst trans-identified young people, there is no evidence that such self-harming behaviors and thoughts are ultimately alleviated by “transition.” Further, as this sentence implies, the “directionality” could be the reverse of what trans activists promote. Having a trans identity and/or facing the monumental prospect of medical transition could be a cause of self harming (in addition to the preexisting or comorbid mental health issues so many of these young people seem to have).

This is not the moment for another flippant call for journalists to take heed. This is deadly serious business: the terrible toll of self harm and suicide among trans-identified youth.  I have not seen a single news treatment of suicide or suicide risk that has even hinted at what these clinicians are stating baldly. Isn’t it time for a more nuanced discussion?


And finally: Leave it to a medical ethicist to point out the huge logical fallacy in the “informed consent” model of treatment now running rampant:

“The fact that somebody wants something badly, does not mean that a health care provider should do it for that reason; a medical doctor is not a candy seller.”— Professor of health care ethics and health law

Imminently sensible. So how is it that “informed consent” and the demonization of “gatekeepers” is more and more the norm? How is it that self identification as trans, even for young children, is fast becoming the only requirement for obtaining treatment? There is something strange going on here. If even some experienced gender specialists  are expressing doubts, why does the media behave as if the issue has been settled?

The positive attitude of many health care providers in giving hypothalamic blockers…is based on the need to conform to international standards, even if they are conscious of a lack of information about medium and long term side effects.” –Psychiatrist

But how can there be “standards” (they are talking about WPATH here) that these providers feel pressure to conform to, if the standards are not based on solid information about risks and benefits? Exactly which cart is pulling this runaway horse?

As still little is known about the etiology of GD and long-term treatment consequences in children and adolescents, there is great need for more systematic interdisciplinary and (worldwide) multicenter research and debate.


Reason for hope?

The article concludes in a way that makes me feel a whisper of hope for the future.

Several professionals mentioned that participation in the study made them think more explicitly about the various themes, and it encouraged them to discuss the issues in their teams. In the Dutch teams, we therefore introduced moral deliberation sessions to talk about these ethical topics. The first reactions of the professionals were positive; the sessions made them rethink essential aspects of the protocol.

Will this “moral deliberation” and “rethinking” result in more caution, or even a desire to put a halt to the pediatric transition train? Time will tell, but it is encouraging that at least the Dutch researchers may be losing some sleep in pondering the incredible power they wield over the lives of children and their families.

At least we know there is controversy. At least we know they are not all marching in lockstep.

And that is something.

UK’s “Gendered Intelligence” has been indoctrinating students for the last 7 years, Daily Mail “can reveal”

Children as young as four are receiving lessons from transgender campaigners – including a man who revealed to primary school classes that he is a ‘trans man’ and was ‘assigned female’ at birth.

Thousands of pupils have had the controversial classes, in which they are encouraged to explore their ‘gender identities’ and are questioned on what being a transsexual means, The Mail on Sunday can reveal.

Up to 20 primary schools a year pay for the classes, given by campaigners’ organisation Gendered Intelligence. Parents’ groups have reacted with concern that pupils may be ‘frightened’ by the workshops, while experts warned the lessons may confuse young children.

What is a “campaigner’s organisation” (aka “trans activist group”) doing in UK schools?

A look through its extensive website and blog makes it clear that Gendered Intelligence has been embedded with, and partially funded via, the National Health Service, the London Museum, UK lottery funds, and the pharmaceutical company Burroughs-Wellcome for many years. In fact, young people affiliated with Gendered Intelligence literally wrote the book used by the NHS to indoctrinate teachers, kids, and providers about “trans kids.” (See page 3).

Why is the Daily Mail only “revealing” this now, 7 years after the group’s inception? Better late than never, I guess.

Gendered Intelligence has confirmed it teaches pupils of all ages in primary schools, from reception class – where children are aged four and five – up to Year Six, where pupils are aged ten and 11. The workshops cost an undisclosed sum and have been available since 2008.

The Mail on Sunday has seen footage of Gendered Intelligence conducting workshops with primary classes, in a video available for teachers to hire at the cost of £20.

Gendered Intelligence’s founder Jay Stewart, who is giving the class, asks the pupils if they think ‘life will be hard at school if you’re a boy at school who likes doing “girlish things”?’

Mr Stewart then asks the class what they think the word ‘transgender’ means and he follows this by revealing he is a ‘trans man’. He says: ‘When I was assigned at birth, I was assigned female when I was born. So I am transgendered. So have you got any questions for me?’

Let’s see. If I’m a 4-year-old girl, but I’m jealous of my boy classmates, or I like to play with trucks and wear my hair short, maybe I can actually turn into a boy, just like this important, authoritative adult I’m seeing in this film did!

At the second school featured in the film, Westerhope Primary, also in Newcastle, Mr Stewart again tells the pupils that he is transgender – despite teachers asking him beforehand not to do so.

Wow, are those teachers just horrible transphobes? Or do they maybe understand that little kids tend to look up to and EMULATE adults, especially ones they see on a cool video?

Have no fear, though. The Mail reporter tells us the transphobic teacher relented (caved?) and decided it was “right” that Stewart revealed his identity. But at least one psychotherapist, Dilys Daws said:

‘What can get confused is that children who just happen to be unhappy at the moment actually fixing on this being about their gender, when it might be to do with the relationship with a parent.

What is Ms. Daws driving at here? Could a kid decide they are trans for reasons not necessarily to do with some innate gender?

Margaret Morrissey, of pressure group Parents Outloud, said four and five-year-olds were ‘far, far too young’ to receive the lessons. She added: ‘We’re in danger of frightening children and making them feel they ought to feel like this.’

Interesting. Parents Outloud is a “pressure” group, while Gendered Intelligence is…an activist a (no pressure!) “campaign” group.

Mr Stewart said: ‘It’s so important to be teaching children in schools that they can be anything that they want regardless of the gender that they have been given at birth.

It’s so important to tell little 4-year-old children that they can be or have anything they WANT. Because kindergartners don’t ever engage in magical thinking. Little kids don’t ever confuse fantasy with reality.

Gendered Intelligence are very serious about their work. In a blog post this past July, members laid out their vision of the future indoctrination education of all students in the UK schools:

Compulsory introduction of information concerning trans identities and issues into PSHE would give trans* young people the language to talk about and understand their gender identity, as well as reducing the amount of transphobia stemming from ignorance. It is also important to include trans people and the discussion of the issues they face in other areas of the curriculum, for example studying the work of trans writers and artists, or influence figures such as the actress and trans activist Laverne Cox, this provides role models for all students.

poster

What’s next? Uniformed Thought Police patrolling and monitoring classrooms?

Strict policies should be in place for challenging transphobia, as there are with other types of prejudice and discrimination, this includes deliberate misgendering. Once students have been educated on what transphobic actions are and why they are harmful, as well as the appropriate way to discuss trans issues, a zero tolerance policy should be adopted. If both students and staff are encouraged to consistently challenge transphobic actions, it will soon become clear that transphobia is not tolerated, creating a safer environment for trans young people.

In addition to providing posters for schools (only one pound!) like the one pictured above, with helpful pink-in-dress, blue-in-pants stereotyped stick figures, the folks at Gendered Intelligence are busy with many other projects. They run the “whatmakesyourgender” blog with a number of important initiatives, such as helping kids realize they are just fine as they are might very well need packers, pills, padding, or makeup to express their gender identity.

objects

We each use many objects in order to manipulate our bodies and express our gender identity. Gender can be thought of  in terms of  ‘boy’ and ‘girl’, but also in terms of ‘boyishness’ and ‘girlishness’. Sometimes we call this ‘masculine’ and ‘feminine’.

Not only do they educate the ignorant on the science of “gender” and what it means to be “boyish” or “girlish.” They are also involved in the arts, some of it generously funded by the grant-making arm of pharmaceutical giant Burroughs-Wellcome (see Excel spreadsheet, with 30K British pounds to “Drawing Gender, Drawing Sex, Drawing Bodies” earmarked for Jay Stewart.) Odd. Why would a pharmaceutical company have an interest in funding a drawing project run by trans activists? No conflict of interest there.

And there’s much, much more than a slick website, school programs, youth (ages 11-25) support groups, and summer camps. The Wellcome [as in, you know, the pharmaceutical company–Burroughs-Wellcome] Collection features a comic exhibit by the Transvengers, a group of 13-19 year old Gendered Intelligence members. Comics!  A sure way to appeal to today’s anime-obsessed youth. And like most of the Orwellian propaganda helpful information distributed by trans youth organizations, these comics turn common sense on its head. They sound like they are about breaking the gender mold, but then….if you’re not into gender roles and stereotypes, how come you need to “transition” to the other sex?

trans avengers

Seems there is no end to the money available to fund activities the staff of 12 has been working on all these years. And the busiest one of all must be director and Gendered Intelligence co-founder Dr. Jay Stewart, who, besides being the star of the preschool video presentations that help children question themselves and reject their own bodies discover their true gender identity,

carries out and oversees the main activities that take place across the organisation. Recently Jay has led on the projects: ‘What makes your gender? Hacking into the Science Museum’ – a £10,000 project funded by Heritage Lottery Fund with the Science Museum, London – and ‘GI’s Anatomy: a life drawing project for trans and intersex people’ – a £30,000 project funded by the Welcome Trust carried out in collaboration with Central School of Speech & Drama, London Drawing and the Gender Identity Development Service, Tavistock Clinic, NHS Trust. Jay also delivers much of the youth group sessions and is a mentor.

A mentor. That sounds benign. Kind of like Big Brothers/Big Sisters? Except we are talking about a “mentor” who was born female but now has a beard and the other accouterments of medical transition. If you’re a little girl “assigned female at birth” and you really don’t like those itchy girl clothes and feel like the boys are having all the fun, Jay tells you “that you can be anything you want regardless of the gender you were given at birth. How exciting is that?


The UK organization Schools Improvement is asking for feedback on the role of Gendered Intelligence in the UK schools. (See bottom of linked page.) Have an opinion? Let them know, especially if you’re a UK resident.